One Family calls for change to the Parental Leave Act

(Dublin, Tuesday 15 May) On UN International Day of the Family, One Family, Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone, separating and sharing parenting calls on the Government to change the Parental Leave Act to give lone parents the same leave entitlements as two parent families.

One Family CEO Karen Kiernan explained: “While we warmly welcome the Parental Leave Act 2019 we are calling for Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, to change the provisions of the Act to give one-parent families the same leave entitlements as two-parent families.

“Our concern is that leave is to be non-transferrable between parents. So, while two-parent families can maximise the amount of time they spend with their babies, those who are parenting alone have only a limited period. We ask that the fourteen weeks of paid parental leave available to parents in a two-parent family is made available to a lone parent. This is in order to provide equal access for the baby to their parent in this critical time.”

Kiernan further comments: “Currently the only reference to transferring leave to an entitled parent in the Bill is where one parent dies, which means that the Scheme is recognising only one type of lone parent thus ignoring others. We call on the Minister to fix this anomaly.  There should be an exception made to the non-transfer rule for lone parents to other designated people and for the sake of their babies we are asking the Minister to make this change.”


Read about the EU Work Life Balance Directive

About One Family

One Family was founded in 1972 and is Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families offering support, information and services to all members of all one-parent families, to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to those working with one-parent families. Children are at the centre of One Family’s work and the organisation helps all the adults in their lives, including mums, dads, grandparents, step-parents, new partners and other siblings, offering a holistic model of specialist family support services. These services include the lo-callaskonefamily national helpline on 1890 622 212, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals.

Available for Interview

Karen Kiernan, Director of One Family | t: 01 662 9212 or 086 850 9191

Further Information

Noel Sweeney, Communications Manager | t: 01 662 9212 or 085 7241294